What's in a name? Quite a lot, it seems. David Schuetz over at Sentire Cum Ecclesia (the Ecclesia in question is the Roman Catholic Church, of course, although David used to think together with the ecclesia known as the Lutheran Church of Australia) has objected to the use of the term 'Roman Catholic Church' and its handy shorthand abbreviation RCC in the comments section of his blog, and will presumably refuse to permit their usage from now on as a matter of policy.
Now, I suppose David is perfectly entitled to do so, as he 'owns' the blog, but this new policy does seem more than a little illiberal to me, especially for one whose blog masthead proclaims that he is 'always proposing, never imposing'. Why, I have even allowed some of David's own quite inflammatory comments directed at the Lutheran faith and my eternal future to remain on my blogs unedited. As far as my own policy on comments is concerned, I would prefer not to censor commentators, and to engage in dialogue, as time permits, and seek to propose, rather than impose, an agreeable alternative, and if agreement should prove elusive, finally accept that not everyone in the world thinks as I do (thank heavens!). Only if a comment was beyond the bounds of civility would I refuse to permit it.
And so I just can't understand the problem with 'Roman Catholic'. It is certainly not beyond the bounds of civility. Why, I note, the Roman Catholic Church even uses the term itself, as one can see here:
and it could go on, but you get the picture.
There is nothing inherently derogatory about the term, it is simply a neutral descriptor, and as the OED will confirm, it has for long been a standard term used in the Anglophone world to denominate the Church of Rome and those in communion with it from other church bodies which also claim catholicity.
Ah...perhaps that's the problem?